Beauty and brawn

Dutch builder, Contest has announced a 17-metre Contest 55CS that is testament to the brand’s reputation as a top of the line bluewater performance builder.

Photography by Contest

24 September 2019


Aimed at the style-conscious, couples-family-and-friends luxury cruising sector, the Contest 55CS offers refined elegance with the same go anywhere, anytime potential.

Across the yachting community, increasing emphasis is being placed on interior accommodation space and styling, and sadly sometimes to the detriment of safety and sea sense.

That’s never the case at Contests Yachts who in the new Contest 55CS go to new lengths to show just how aesthetics and practicality really can make perfect partners. How for different types of ownership a yacht can be equally set to circle the world and still offer the very best of comforts and space whether lazing at anchor or plugged into marina life.

This way the Contest 55CS provides for ever more enjoyable time aboard. A safe, comfortable, speedy and easily run yacht with space and systems both above and below decks to enjoy life on the water to the full… and that’s all waters!


A game changer in the mid-fifty-feet sector, the Contest 55CS continues the yard’s close collaboration with naval architects judel/vrolijk and interior designers Wetzels Brown & Partners.

The new model also brings much of the superyacht featuring and fit-out of the very well-reviewed 26-metre Contest 85CS and 21-metre Contest 67CS to a size previously more constrained.

The same is true also of the exterior styling, which follows that of these bigger Contest yachts. Just look at that coachroof line sweeping back into the expansive twin cockpit plan. This degree of equivalency is new to the industry at this length. Especially in a yacht so sleek, yet also so accommodating.

For 45 years and more, all Contest yachts have been built under Lloyd’s watchful standards and certification. It’s a partnership always looking to further structural optimisation and which now in the Contest 55CS sees the introduction of carbon stiffening elements to Contest’s own highly regarded and unique vacuum infused moulding methods for tightly controlled, lighter yet stiffer, stronger and space saving engineering.

For Contest and Lloyd’s, integrity is key, as is exactness. This improves performance afloat, in longevity, residual values – in what can be achieved.  It is an enabler, promoting and underwriting new thinking, and the Contest 55CS continues the yard’s 60-year history of innovation.

In the Contest 55CS that now includes such featuring as extensive new aft panoramic glazing for the master suite, revealing for the occupants delightful wide seascape views at anchor as the transom garage door hydraulically lowers to become both bathing platform and launchpad for tender and water toys.

There is more and more light with a new approach to deck hatches and a choice in hull windows both in number and size. The lighting systems and detailing also show fresh thinking in design installation.

Throughout, the sense of openness is instant. Yet equally evident is Contest’s hallmark sea-safety with the many handrails plus clever handholding-lips to cabinetry, all ergonomic in use. And that joinery and its finish is to the yard’s always exceptionally high standards. As are the soft furnishings and architectural hardware. And all this, of course, adjusted to individual owner’s taste and needs.

Just as there are many cabin plans for the personal best match, there are many options on sailing systems, set up and management.

Carbon or aluminium spars, cutter or sloop, in-mast or slab reefing, and for downwind sails a carbon sprit with integral furling. Decks are topped with thick, vacuum bonded sustainable teak and the deckplan incorporates a walk-through cockpit for the simplest and most surefooted working and sidedeck access.

And for lazing at anchor, that clear aft deck and foredeck with a choice of shades and covers make good resting spaces after enjoying a swim and splash or play with the toys from that transom door bathing platform and revealed big garage-store.


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